Dozens of concerned Ronda residents made the journey to central Malaga to protest CEPSA’s plans for a massive solar farm in the Serrania de Ronda.
The green campaigners united outside Hotel NH Malaga and chanted ‘renewals yes, but not this way’, as executives from the oil giant company walked inside for a meeting about the proposed project on Friday morning.
The plans would involve a giant solar panel farm in the picturesque Serrania de Ronda area, with power lines to deliver the power to towns and cities along the coast.
Protester and British expatriate Lisa Ruddock has run hotel La Cazalla for the past eight years in the mountains outside Ronda and said the project was ‘unthinkable’.
“We bought it because here we are completely surrounded by nature – you don’t see a single other property, power line or wind generator,” she told the Olive Press.
“To imagine that will be destroyed by these power lines that will deliver the power from the solar farms to the coast or to other countries in Europe is completely mad and insensitive.”
Ronda resident Pablo Lopez said the project would tarnish the reputation of the UNESCO world heritage city of Ronda.
“Ronda is not in need of this project,” he said.
“Renewals are important, but not here – it will degrade the landscape, damage farm land and business in the tourism industry.”
So far three out of five similar proposed schemes in the Ronda area have been rejected in official environmental reports by the Junta.
The giant projects would have seen the Serrania region plastered with panels and criss-crossed with electricity pylons.
The ministry ruled against the ‘uncontrolled installation’ of photovoltaic mega-parks, highlighting the ‘effects on biodiversity’ in the protected region.
In particular, it pointed out the threat to the loss of wildlife habitats that make the projects ‘unfeasible’.